Daily Life (In the County)

As a courtesy, I asked the doctor to take me off his rounds every week. I’m feeling fine and I can monitor the things that need to be watched. I guess I could use it as an excuse to get out of my cage, but I have come to like just being left alone. I have tired of my fellow man. I find that my days are happier the fewer the number of people with whom I have to interact.  Besides, it frees him up to take care of other people. Out of courtesy to me, he checks up during his rounds by asking the guards to check if I need to see him. I thank them, but it’s not necessary, so I decline.

I’ve finally convinced my bunky his problems need to be addressed now. Granted he’s looking at being in a place worse than this – the penitentiary for the next 12 years – and so understandably he is a little depressed and not very motivated to take care of himself. But today I convinced him to fill out a request form and placed it in the door. There are two problems with that however: one, the guard hasn’t gone by on rounds to pick it up, and two, since the guards don’t interpret it, or anything else that does not materially affect them personally as an emergency, they won’t schedule him to see the doctor for 2 to 3 days, or two to three weeks, from now.

The inmate next door shuffles out of his cell on his way to see the doctor, so I push the intercom and a voice comes through, “What’s your emergency?”

“I know it’s irregular,” I say, “But I need to talk with the doctor.”

“If you’re on the list, you’ll be seen; if not put it in a request,” says the voice.

“There’s a request that’s been on the door since this morning at eight; it’s now 1:00 PM.”

“Well, you wouldn’t see him today anyway. It takes 48 hours to schedule.”

“I know,” I said, “But he had me scheduled every week because of the Coumadin I take, and since he really didn’t need to schedule it every week, he just checks in, like he did last week. I just need to ask him a question.”  It wasn’t for me. I just wanted to help my bunky. In addition to his “Parkinsonian pill roll”, explosive diarrhea three to four times a day with soiling of himself, and stool droppings on the floor, he fell trying to get down from the top bunk earlier in the morning.

“It’s not going to happen.”

“I’m sorry; who am I speaking with…”

“Officer Smith.”

“Well, Officer Smith, I know it’s irregular but it would at least help if we could ask him…”

Officer Smith interrupting, “You want me to spell that for you? It’s Smith: S-M-I-T-H. (He had taken offense to me asking to whom I was speaking.)

I wasn’t challenging him. I just wanted to know who I was talking with and whether it was someone I could reason with, without telling the entire compound that my celly was shitting on himself. I already know how to spell it” I thought. That’s Smith: A-S-S-H-O-L-E”.  “No, that’ll be OK” I said.  “I was just hoping…”

With that I let it go. I had resolved to omit episodes like that from my day, but they occur constantly. There is really nothing I could do to avoid them. There are way too many assholes in here. The solution is just to terminate the interaction before it escalates.

From Mike’s standpoint, I guess if I had to think that a missing link like Officer Smith was going to be in my life for the next 12 years, I’d probably prefer shitting on myself too. It would certainly be less of a hassle. (Now, I wouldn’t purposely do it, but it seemed important to say.) The point is that our debt to society required that we all sacrifice time. That is the sentence imposed by the state, the judge, and the law. No where does it say that we are required to put up with shitheads like Smith.

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